Ten of the 12 founding members might have officially pulled out of the European Super League, but Barcelona has reiterated its commitment to the idea.
On Tuesday, the new project collapsed spectacularly – less than 48 hours after it was announced – following the withdrawal of the six Premier League teams from the competition. Italian clubs Inter Milan, Juventus and AC Milan followed suit, as did Atletico Madrid.
However, despite the ongoing backlash from fans, governing bodies and lawmakers, Barca announced its intention to plough on with the ill-fated Super League, citing the “need for structural reforms” in European football.
“In this context, the FC Barcelona Board of Directors accepted, as a matter of immediate urgency, the offer to form part, as the founding member, of the Super League, a competition designed to improve the quality and attractiveness of the product offered to the football fans and, at the same time, and as one of FC Barcelona’s most inalienable principles, seek new formulas for solidarity with the football family as a whole,” Thursday’s statement read
“The decision was made in the conviction that it would have been a historical error to turn down the opportunity to be part of this project as one of its founding members.
“As one of the world’s top sports club, our intention shall always be to be at the forefront, this being an indispensable part of the club’s identity and its sporting, social and institutional spirit.”
Barca’s great La Liga rival Real Madrid also remains committed to the Super League plan and in a radio interview on Wednesday the club’s President Florentino Perez said the exclusive competition is on “standby.”
READ: European Super League crumbles after majority of teams announce withdrawal
READ: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez insists Super League isn’t canceled, only on ‘standby’
Nonetheless Barca acknowledged the overwhelming public backlash to the formation of the Super League, saying there is “no question … that a much more in-depth analysis is required into the reasons that have caused this reaction.”
The La Liga club added that it would “reconsider, if necessary, and to the required extent, the proposal as originally formulated and resolve all those issues, always for the good of the general interest of the football world. Such in-depth analysis needs time and the necessary composure to avoid taking any rash action.”
On Thursday, La Liga met with the 39 clubs from its first and second divisions that were not invited to join the Super League and put out a joint statement condemning the proposal.
“The present clubs at the meeting unanimously and strongly rejected the plans for this competition,” it read. “All clubs firmly believe in sporting merit as the sole criteria to qualify to international club competitions through domestic leagues.
“Today football fans across Europe can dream that their club, no matter the size, may excel, climb to the top and compete at the pinnacle of European football. This European tradition of football for all is paramount and should not be threatened or changed.
“Global resistance over the past few days has proven that a closed, elitist league is unviable and unwanted. The reaction proves just how much the open ecosystem and football community means to people.”